Recent News and Events

"Israeli Cuisine as a Reflection of Israeli Society" Conference

Sunday and Monday, November 12-13, 2017

Renowned Israeli chefs and scholars gathered for a day-long conference of passionate discussion surrounding the dynamic world of Israeli cuisine and culture. The conference explored the intersection of Israeli cuisine and society through the lens of history, demographic changes, and the integreation of various cultures into the nation. The conference featured scholars in the fields of food studies, cultural studies, and anthropology, in tandem with chefs, writers, and historians. Featured on JTA and i24 news.

"Israeli Soldiers, Sudanese Refugees, and a Talmudic Debate: " Haim Watzman in Conversation with Professor Lauren B. Strauss

Monday, November 6, 2017

Haim Watzman is a Jerusalem-based writer, journalist, and translator. He is known for his translations of literary works by leading Israeli writers and scholars, including David Grossman, Tom Segev and Amos Oz. He talked about his translation work, as well as his own writing, most notably, Necessary Stories, a new collection of his short fiction. He discussed his work with Lauren B. Strauss, who teaches modern Jewish history and literature in American University's Jewish Studies Program (JSP). This event was co-sponsored by CIS and JSP.

Laura Blumenfeld and Samuel G. Freedman in Conversation: "Diaspora Jews and Israel in the Trump/Netanyahu Era"

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Journalists and authors Laura Blumenfeld and Samuel G. Freedman discussed diaspora Jews and Israel in the era of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The discussion was moderated by Professor Pamela Nadell.

Global Israel Series

Global Israel is a series of events at Washington, DC embassies exploring Israel's diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with other countries. Attendance at Global Israel Events is restricted to AU students, faculty, and friends of the Center for Israel Studies.

Read about this series:
Fall 2016 Focus on Israel-Europe Connection

Empanadas and Diplomacy: Uruguay Embassy Event Kicks-off "Global Israel" Series.

Global Israel: The Israel-Africa Connection

September 13, 2017 The Mission of the African Union
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Global Israel: Embassy of Italy

December 6, 2016
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Global Israel: Screening of "Germans and Jews"

November 28, 2016 Embassy of Germany
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The Israel-Europe Connection: Past and Present Ties

November 7, 2016 Embassy of Slovakia
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India and Israel: A Growing Relationship

February 29, 2016 Embassy of India
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Embassy of Germany

November 2, 2015

Embassy of Ethiopia

October 8, 2015
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Empanadas and Conversation

September 9, 2015 Embassy of Uruguay
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Israel's Second Founding: The Six-Day War 50 Years Later

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Six Days in June 1967 changed the very essence of the Jewish state. Israel emerged with a territory three times as big as before the war. It controlled the holy Jewish sites in Jerusalem and Hebron, but also a substantial Palestinian population. While it was a military and religious triumph for some, other claimed that Israel lost the war on the seventh day, when it decided not to return from a significant part of the newly conquered territories.
A panel of experts discussed the long term implications of the war for Israel. CIS director Michael Brenner moderated the discussion with Alon Confino (University of Virginia/Ben-Gurion University), Arie Dubnov (George Washington University), Yoav Gelber (American University/IDC Herzliya), Benny Morris (Ben Gurion University/Georgetown University), Yoram Peri (University of Maryland) and Tamara Wittes (Brookings Institution).

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Cybersecurity in an Age of Uncertainty: U.S.-Israel Perspectives

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Through a series of four expert panels, the all day conference explored cutting-edge U.S.-Israel cyberpolicy issues involving national security, crime, human rights, and the digital economy. Topics included active cyber military operations, internet freedom, cybertheft, and technological capabilities. Each panel explored the responsibilities of various governmental agencies as well as the roles of the private sector and the public in each country.
Co-sponsored by American University in partnership with American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Additional co-sponsors: Maryland/Israel Development Center, Internet Society Washington DC Chapter, and Future of Privacy Forum. Support provided by Bender Foundation in memory of Sondra D. and Howard Bender.

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View Morning Video.
Cybersecurity and Human Rights (Beginning of video to 1:42:20)
The Cybersecurity Industry (1:42:50 to end of video)

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Cybertheft Prevention and Response (Beginning of video to 1:27:28)
Cyber Security and National Security Policies-the U.S. and Israel (1:27:29 to end of video)

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Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture: "Israel and the West in a Changing Middle East" with Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon

Monday, March 6,2017

Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon delivered this year's Amos Perlmutter Memorial lecture, sponsored by CIS and the School of Public Affairs.
This was Moshe Ya'alon's first public talk since he formally announced that he will be forming a new political party and seeking the position of Prime Minister of Israel in Tel Aviv.

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"Contemporary Writing in Israel: Can You Avoid Politics?" with Assaf Gavron

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Our Sondra D. and Howard Bender Israeli Writer Series on "The New Generation of Israeli Writers" continued with a discussion with acclaimed writer Assaf Gavron. Gavron's most recent book, The Hilltop addresses the reality in the West Bank, including violence, greed, lust for power and the blurring of values, but also a burning ideological passion. The book was a bestseller and won major awards in Israel, applauded by both sides of the political spectrum. A book-signing and dessert reception followed the discussion.

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"ON THE MAP: Writing Israel's Story" with Dani Menkin

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dani Menkin, author, filmmaker, and two time Israeli Academy Award winner showed clips and spoke about the process of writing and creating his newest documentary. ON THE MAP, the uplifting, inspiring, and true story of Maccabi Tel Aviv's 1977 European Championship. The film recounts how Israeli basketball team gave hope to a nation in time when Israel was still suffering the heartache of the 1972 hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv. Dani Menkin was the first speaker in the Sondra D. and Howard Bender Israeli Writing Series, which focused on the "New Generation of Israeli Writers." This event was co-sponsored by the School of Communication's Media That Matters series and Center for Media and Social Impact.

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Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Maryland, discussed his latest book, Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989.

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The Legacy of Shimon Peres

Monday, November 14, 2016

The AU Center for Israel Studies (CIS), School of International Service (SIS), and the Kennedy Political Union (KPU) were proud to host a roundtable discussion on the legacy of former Israeli President, Prime Minister, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shimon Peres, who passed away on September 28th. Peres, Israel's elder statesman, and a champion of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, inaugurated CIS in 1998. The discussion featured form Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, and SIS Professor Guy Ziv, author of Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel.

Israeli Perspectives on the U.S. Elections

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How is the American presidential election perceived by Israelis? How will the election impact the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance? Professor Sam Lehman-Wilzig, an expert on political communication, public relation, and new media, addressed these questions. Professor Lehman-Wilzig is Chair of the School of Communications at Bar-IIan University in Israel. Co-sponsored by the School of Public Affairs. A dessert reception followed this event.

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"The Kibbutz: Ideal, Crisis, Renewal" Conference

Thursday, October 27, 2016

This international conference brought together leading scholars, artists, writers, and activists, who discussed what the kibbutz meant for the shaping of Israel, how it entered its existential crisis, and the forces behind its contemporary renewal. The conference culminated with a screening of Children of the Sun, an award-winning film about the kibbutz and a panel discussion which included the film's director, Ran Tal, and Israeli writer Yael Neeman. Co-sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies, Jewish Studies Program and Department of History.

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Family Feuds: American Jews and Israel

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Panel discussion on the changing relationship between U.S. Jews and Israel which featured:

  • Dov Waxman (Northeaster), author of Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel
  • Michael Barnett (GWU), author of The Star and the Stripes: A History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews
  • Yaron Gamburg, Minister of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel

Moderated by Pamela Nadell, Director of Jewish Studies Program. Co-sponsored by Jewish Studies Program and School of Public Affairs. A book-signing followed the discussion.

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SIS Graduate Practicum Report: Finding Cooperation Amid Conflict

Monday, September 12, 2016

Students from the 2016 SIS Summer graduate practicum, "Finding Cooperation Amid Conflict: Israeli-Palestinian Water-Energy-Food Cooperation in the Middle East," presented their research along with their AU faculty advisors, Dr. Eric Abitbol and Dr. Ken Conca. Co-sponsored by the School of International Service Global Environmental Politics Program.

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Is the Land Full? Addressing Overpopulation in Israel

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Alon Tal, a leading academic and veteran Israeli environmental activist, discussed his new book, The Land is Full - Addressing Overpopulation in Israel. Tal discussed the ramification of Israel's extraordinary population increase, including burgeoning pollution, dwindling natural resources, overburdened infrastructure, and overcrowding. Co-sponsored by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Book signing reception followed the discussion.

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